Renting Dummy Cakes...just A Thought?

Business By CakeMommyTX Updated 18 Aug 2008 , 8:28am by varika

CakeMommyTX Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
CakeMommyTX Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 1:26pm
post #1 of 17

Ok so I am about to go on maternity leave, which means no cake making for me.
But I just had an idea.... renting dummy cakes!
I was thinking I could decorate a few (3-4) and just rent those out while I am not baking.
Would that even work, just to offer dummies and no real cake?
I figured the bride could rent my dummy and get sheet cakes or whatever from somewhere else.
I would get the dummy back and be able to turn around and rent it again.
I am forever seeing posts on Craig list wanting dummy cakes and apparently thatâs what all the bridesâ mags are saying. So why not cash in on it while I can?
I also figured since it won't be eaten I can decorate them at home and donât have to pay for the kitchen space I normally do for real cake.
Do I have a good idea or not?
And how do I tell prospective customers that I only offer the dummies at this time and no cake?
Also how much would I charge for a dummie cake, the normal per serving price I charge even if I will be re-renting them?

16 replies
KHalstead Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
KHalstead Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 9:25pm
post #2 of 17

dummy cakes take just as long to decorate as real cake.........I'd charge the same as any cake, maybe minus the 20 dollars in supplies it takes to make the "real cake" part!

HammIamm Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
HammIamm Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 11:47pm
post #3 of 17

ALL THE dummy cakes i've rented, come back damaged, no matter what I tell them. i take a damage deposit, but you end up have to do twice the work. no more for me!

littlecake Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
littlecake Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 7:37pm
post #4 of 17

i never rented dummy cakes, but i have rented other things...people just don't care....everything i've rented has come back broken...scuffed up...with stuff missing.

i leave the renting stuff to the pros now...i just can't handle it....people ruining your stuff.

CakeMommyTX Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
CakeMommyTX Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 2:44pm
post #5 of 17

For me I prefer the decorating part to the baking part, so I figured dummies were right up my aisle.

What kinda of "damage deposit' should I charge in addition to the rental fee.
Also how much damage would be ok before I keep the deposit.
I can just see me getting into it with a bride, she says the finger marks and missing pieces are "normal wear and tear" and I say its damaged and needs to be repaired before re-renting. So
how would I specify what is considered damaged?

bitofsnshn Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
bitofsnshn Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 3:51pm
post #6 of 17

It seems to me that even if you take a damage deposit you have to worry that the bride is going to say that the venue was responsible for the damage and not her.

I would also think each bride still wants a very different type of style of cake. I guess if you charge enough to make what you need to or feel you need to make then just don't expect to rent it again.

bake-A-cake00 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
bake-A-cake00 Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 7:29pm
post #7 of 17

Someone in New York has a business renting out cake dummies for weddings they even contain a small portion of real cake for the first cut!!! (someone on here posted this site a few days ago *dont remember who* thats how i saw it.)

jmt1714 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
jmt1714 Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 11:21pm
post #8 of 17

i just don't getthe point of these. most people want a cake the way they want it to look, not the way you want your dummy to look. if you are not going to be working, just tell them you aren' available for a bit.

MaisieBake Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
MaisieBake Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 11:39pm
post #9 of 17
Originally Posted by jmt1714

i just don't getthe point of these. most people want a cake the way they want it to look, not the way you want your dummy to look. if you are not going to be working, just tell them you aren' available for a bit.


I can see a venue (site) having a few rentals available as part of an all-in-one deal (B&g write one check and magically, they get the site and the tables and the wait staff and the food and the drinks and the cleanup, and maybe even the officant) but as something a bride would seek out and then have to also find cake to eat? Why?

CakeMommyTX Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
CakeMommyTX Posted 31 Jul 2008 , 12:58pm
post #10 of 17

I got the idea from all the advice articles and websites telling brides to rent display cakes and then use sheet cakes to serve the guest with.
The articles all say it's cheaper (not that I agree), so if that's what brides are looking for then why not?
I figured I would decorate them in different styles/ themes but still leave them pretty generic i.e one white, one ivory,one all "chocolate" etc.
The bride can choose one that best fits her wedding theme ,display it and serve sheet cakes to the guests.
Just like all the mags say to do.
I guess I could also do the sheet cakes as well, if they were plain and undecorated it would'nt be that big of deal .
It's just a thought.
I've been getting more and more inquiries for dummy cakes and I've even seen a few "used" ones for sale on Craigs List, so brides are interested in them.

mouse13 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
mouse13 Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 9:01pm
post #11 of 17

I think it's a great idea. With so many brides wanting them why not. With dummy cakes can't you redecorate them? If the bride wants to change a lil' bit about them. Good luck and congrats on the new baby coming.

lauritasolorzano Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
lauritasolorzano Posted 12 Aug 2008 , 9:21pm
post #12 of 17

I haven't had any requests for dummy cakes, but I've heard that they are being used a lot here in my hometown. An option to prevent damage will be to drop off and pick up the dummy yourself from the location.


margaretb Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
margaretb Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 6:38am
post #13 of 17

Why not? I would go to a few wedding stores and see what they rent dummies for. I remember renting my cake stand and it was about $20. I would think for a dummy cake, maybe $50? Now, that means you aren't going to make any money unless you rent it more than once. But what the heck. Even if it doesn't work out and you don't get many rentals, you will still have emergency cakes in case of disaster in the future.

Sugarshock Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Sugarshock Posted 17 Aug 2008 , 11:41pm
post #14 of 17

Im my opinion (if you want it), it is a good idea and will probably make you money. I think what scares me about this though it that after it becomes popular places like Walmarts, etc. are going to come out with the same thing at a fraction of the cost, like they do now, and undercut the cake industry even more so. Lately I've found it to be even more disheartening to take on the complaints of brides who've listened to the theory of cheap pushed by magazine articles, wanting me to justify my costs. Or others even wanting me to justify why a reception is needed. Sorry to veer off subject, I don't mean to ruffle any feathers, either. Its just a combination of recent frustrations and hidden fears.
My advice, figure in the cost of repairs into the rental price whether you have to fix something or not and use the deposit as a hold for non returns or extreme damage (35% and up). Minor repairs and general maintenance are a part of the rental industry. Good luck and congratulations.

PieceofCakeAZ Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
PieceofCakeAZ Posted 18 Aug 2008 , 7:52am
post #15 of 17

If we ever get completely out of the business of making real cakes, then I would consider making dummy cakes for people... but as long as our core business is creating real wedding cakes... no way. I actually wouldn't get involved in offering any product /service that effectively decreases the perceived value of our core business.

It seems like a potential short term gain but if you start offering them and they become more and more popular in your area, what are the potential long term consequences of losing that real wedding cake business for the as many years as the fad stays popular?

sugarplumfairycanada Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
sugarplumfairycanada Posted 18 Aug 2008 , 8:27am
post #16 of 17

When I got married almost 10 years ago, get this, I had a dummy cake that we rented from the IGA grocery store. Shocking isn't it. Back then, a fancy, great tasting cake wasn't important to me so we rented a 2 tier cake and served sheet cakes to our guests. Now, I couldn't imagine doing that but I think there are always going to be brides like I was who choose to rent due to indifference, budget etc and there is always going to brides that want the most beautiful, biggest and best tasting cake ever. Maybe you'll find a niche in the market for your area. Good luck.

varika Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
varika Posted 18 Aug 2008 , 8:28am
post #17 of 17
Originally Posted by Sugarshock

Or others even wanting me to justify why a reception is needed.

My response would be, "It's not. You're the one who wants to have it. I'm just here to make the cake."

Srsly, people, whut? icon_confused.gif That's like asking the gas station attendant why you have to have a car...

Quote by @%username% on %date%